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Heart Health

The head-heart connection: Mental health and heart disease

December 01, 2018

Common mental health disorders are linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Learn to spot the warning signs.

 Image: © imtmphoto/Getty Images

Heart disease and mental health issues are both common. So it's not surprising that these problems often occur together. But are people with depression or anxiety more prone to developing cardiovascular disease?

Teasing out the answer to that question has proved tricky. Some factors known to contribute to a higher risk of heart disease (for example, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and smoking) are also common in people with mental health issues. Now, new research that adjusts for those potentially confounding factors suggests the answer is yes.

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